Devon, EOG mark progress in Barnett shale

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 27 -- Reports from two key operators in the Barnett shale of North Texas show the play has strong momentum.

Devon Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, said its proved reserves in the North Texas Barnett shale gas play exceed the 1.9 tcf of gas equivalent booked when it acquired the Fort Worth basin assets in 2002 in spite of the intervening production.

Devon Energy bought the Barnett shale assets from Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. in January 2002. It now operates 1,830 wells in the formation, having drilled nearly 1,000 wells since the acquisition. The company has 18 rigs running in the play.

Devon Energy reported 1.944 tcfe of Barnett reserves at the end of 2004.

At 570 MMcfd vs. 350 MMcfd in early 2002, Devon Energy produces more gas from the field than all other producers combined. It holds 550,000 net acres, and its wells are mainly in Denton, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise counties.

Cumulative production since 1981 from wells operated by Devon Energy and Mitchell Energy surpassed 1 tcf of gas in June 2005. Devon Energy is the largest gas producer in Texas and third largest in the US.

Meanwhile, EOG Resources Inc., Houston, holds 490,000 acres in the Barnett shale and plans steady drilling for at least the next 6 years.

"During the second quarter, additional wells drilled to the west of Johnson County, in Hood and Jack counties, continued to confirm the acreage is natural gas and not oil-productive," EOG Resources said. Play observers had believed that the Barnett would produce oil west of a line running through Wise, Parker, and Hood counties.

EOG Resources has established that the formation will produce gas in Johnson, Jack, Erath, Parker, and Hood counties and plans to evaluate Hill and Palo Pinto counties by the end of 2005.

The company is running eight rigs in Johnson and one in Hood. Its net reserves were 133 bcfe in the Barnett at the end of 2004. Its goal is to average 50 MMcfd from the Barnett in 2005 compared with 6 MMcfd in 2004 and exit 2005 at 80 MMcfd. Output is 54 MMcfd in late July.

Early core data show 90 bcf/sq mile in place on the west side where the Barnett is shallower compared with 130 bcf/sq mile in Johnson County, EOG said.

EOG said it has leased 125,000 acres in a Barnett look-alike play elsewhere in Texas where it cored a well in the second quarter. It hopes to have test results by yearend 2005.

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